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Crazy Woman Canyon

The name certainly grabs your attention, much like it did for those making their way along the bloody Bozeman Trail in the mid-1800’s. Crazy Woman Canyon was a point along the dangerous route north, as were Crazy Woman Creek, which flows through the canyon, and the Crazy Woman Battlefield nearby. But it’s the canyon, with the eerie name, that is the true landmark here in Powder River/Bighorn Mountain country.

Crazy Woman Canyon is a spectacular sight with high cliffs on both sides, highlighted by an assortment of boulders that have tumbled from above. The canyon with the crazy name is located between Kaycee and Buffalo, east of today’s major route, I-25. The road that leads into Crazy Woman Canyon is a tad rugged, but it’ll get you there.

Ah yes, and how Crazy Woman Canyon got its name. Well, like many landmarks and legends from the Wyoming Frontier, even before Territory and long before Statehood days, there are varying stories and theories as to how they took their names. Call them legend or call them fact, there are two such theories for Crazy Woman Canyon. One says it was named for an Indian woman, left to live alone in her teepee here, who went insane. The other tells a tragic and violent tale of the settler who witnessed the capture and scalping of her husband by Indians, which drove her to insanity.

Crazy Woman Canyon served as a passageway for centuries for Native Indians. It was a perfect staging area for war parties during the Plains Indian Wars, and one has to wonder how many times some of the local outlaws in the late 1800’s might have used the canyon to aid in a getaway or two. It’s a beautiful stone landmark with alot of history and a little insanity, at Crazy Woman Canyon.

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